Category Archives: Reality Television

First Look: Australia’s Next Top Model Season Ten

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Megan Gale joins Alex Perry and Jen Hawkins as a judge on season ten of Australia’s Next Top Model.  Image Credit: Foxtel 2016

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Fox8’s “Australia’s Next Top Model” is set to pull out all the stops to not only salute the past nine seasons of this hit modelling show, but to also showcase just why our local version of Tyra Banks model search competition is serving up some of the best winners in the world.

Returning to season ten is host Jennifer Hawkins, panel judge Alex Perry and model coach Cheyenne Tozzi who are joined this season by the addition of Megan Gale to the judging panel  Gone is co-model coach and uber swoon-worthy Didier Cohen, now replaced with the Stenmark Twins, Jordan and Zack, who both seems a little ‘carboardy’ in the first two episodes given for preview.

In honor of this tenth season, a gaggle of well-known models from Elle ‘the body’ McPherson to Miranda Kerr and past contestants who have more than done well for themselves since their seasons ended including winner Montana Cox and Season 7’s Simone Holtznagel all make appearances throughout the season.

topmodel-belinda
Belinda from NSW is my dark horse pick this season.

Also back this season is the terrible scoring system introduced back in season nine  which has all the girls ranked on a scoring system with points coming from the weekly challenge and the weekly photo shoot and once again, has Alex Perry literally determining the fate of who stays and who goes home with his final score offering.  The ‘blind’ scoring system used by Tyra Banks and co in the US version seems to be much more fairer (to the viewers) than the scoring system our Aussie version is using.

The top 13 girls this season all meet the brief of being young, gorgeous and tall, some with more potential than others and some who stand out right from the get-go as potential front runners and unlike last season, there’s no bogan-turned-international-runway-model.  There is stunner Aleyna from NSW who shines in the Alex Perry branded runway show and NSW’s Daisy who has a little bit of the Chloe Moretz-Grace’s about her features but is way to cocky for her own good.  Sofie from Tasmania is the girl who apparently complains about shoes that are too small (I didn’t see that happen) and gets the usual “I’ve put my size 17 feet into a size 2 shoe” quip from Cheyenne Tozzi and Summer from VIC has little to no control over her ‘dear in headlights’ eyes.

Tuesday’s first episode has Alex Perry kicking off this seasons first challenge – again, surprising the girls with an Alex Perry runway show in front of 400 industry power houses. One girl slays the runway while another has trouble dealing with critiques from the judges.

Australia’s Next Top Model – Season Ten starts Tuesday, Sept 20th at 7:30pm on FOX8

#MKR #TheBlock #ImACelebAU : What Are You Watching Tonight?

MKR begins tonight on 7
MKR begins tonight on 7

It’s going to be a battle royale tonight with reality juggernauts My Kitchen Rules, The Block Triple Threat and I’m a Celebrity Australia all invading our televisions tonight and all starting at the same time, leaving me wondering just which program is going to fall into the cancelled bin.

I finished watching the first episode of I’m a Celeb last night (on delay as a roast lamb dinner at the parents place was in order) and quickly brought up the digital TV guide for tonight only to sit there blank faced.  Shit.  MKR, The Block and I’m a Celeb are all scheduled for the same start time – 7:30pm.  It’s a tough call.  Which do I watch live and which do I record to watch after?

It can only be two programs considering the current running time for each show is a minimum 2 hours (it’s actually 1.5 hours but we all know now how this really works) and it’ll be almost 11pm by the time we’d have finished watching two programs leaving me to wonder, just which show is going to….well….die?

the-block
The Block Triple Threat

MKR has a strong fan base and even though over the past few seasons we’ve seen the cooking show move away from the food to the contestants, the show is still a massive draw-card for Channel 7’s weeknight prime time line-up.

The Block Triple Threat, well, 9 were smart getting in early before the other two but fell victim to 7’s Australian Open coverage.  Even with the less than stellar ratings, we’ve all invested a week with the show already, seen one couple booted with another to go this week.

I’m a Celeb…kudos to Network 10 for the build-up and advertising leading up-to it’s premiere last night.  1.19 million viewers smashed The Block’s opener but will the premise of ‘celebs’ stranded in the South African jungle enough to lure viewers away from such strongholds as MKR and The Block?

So what am I doing?  Easy call in fact.  Tape The Block and watch MKR live.  It’s what I’ve always done and will continue to do leaving behind our celebs in the jungle.  To be fair, it’s not the show’s fault…it’s simple enough to watch (just like the other two) and quite enjoyable but Ten’s decision to push it up against two of the biggest reality shows in Australia…Ten’s got big balls that may be about to be deflated.

What will be your viewing schedule for tonight?  Sound off in the comments below!

The Block Triple Threat Kicks Off

The Block Contestants Mark and Jess.  Source: Provided
The Block Contestants Mark and Jess. Source: Provided

Talk about bursting out of the gates like a bucking bull – well, Block contestant Anastasia sure did taking an epic fall right into Scotty’s work bench early on in last night’s first episode – I feel ya girl.

Yes, The Block is back for another season, with 6 brand new couples and no sign (as yes) of last years delightful Dee and Darren.  After some rather awkward introductions, we’re introduced to our six couples who are informed they have one week to renovate three rooms – a bedroom (the worlds smallest), a living/dining and a bathroom (what no kitchen in these places?) and that’s if they make it to the final room.

Room by room, one of the 6 couples will be booted off the show to make way for our three returning couples from previous seasons – Dee and Darren, Matt and Kim and Bec and George before moving into the actual block.

First look thoughts on the teams:

Aimee and Brooke….the two seemed more interested in performing pop hits in the car (and for the camera) than actually making it to the challenge destination and taking 40 minutes to find their allocated apartment…i’ll bite my tongue here.  If they happen to make it through, those girls will have the biggest tradie bill to date.

Anastasia and Tim…well Ana’s epic fall gets her right into my good books, though someone may need to show her how to run in heels and Tim, we didn’t see much of him at all so no comment.

Ayden and Jess…he took her keys and left her stranded at Mitre 10. Sort of a bumbling duo that you’d find in a bad 90’s fat guy/hot wife sitcom though Ayden seems to know his way around an Ikea flat pack.

Josh and Charlotte…I literally do not remember this couple…wait is she the ‘food stylist’?

Luke and Ebony…i’m still waiting for the sibling rivalry to kick in as this brother/sister duo seem to be getting along a little to good for my liking.

Mark and Jess…Gotta feel for Mark.  The missus dissolves into thin air – or just went shopping – for HOURS with her phone and his! Actually, it’s probably a smart move so there’d be no phone calls about colors or patterns or sizes.

Tonight we get our first room reveals – the bedroom big enough for a toddler and we loose one couple to the depths of former reality TV contestants.

The Block Triple Threat continues tonight, 7:30pm on Nine.

Just Who Is Going Into The Jungle? I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Hosts Chris Brown and Julia Morris.  Source: Network 10
Hosts Chris Brown and Julia Morris. Source: Network 10

Network Ten sure are keeping very mum on just who exactly will be popping up in their up-coming celebrity-reality series I’m a Celebrity..Get Me Out of Here, and they’re doing it for very good reasons.

ITV Australia chief Anita Jacoby revealed that those ‘celebrities’ who have signed up for the gig don’t actually know who else has signed on.  “They find out who they are going to be joining on that first night.  They genuinely don’t know. That is part of the magic of the show, they have got no inkling whatsoever.”

While making sure not to reveal too much, Ten have been kind enough to give us some clues as to who we may see…

So names ranging from Sophie Monk to Shane Warne, Bert Newton and comedian Joel Creasy have been floating around, but true to Ten’s word, no one will actually find out until premiere night.  That said though, one name in particular that has been thrown about is standing out more than others.  Melissa-Joan Hart, she of Sabrina The Teenage Witch (which I adored) and now of ABC Family comedy Melissa and Joey recently followed a select few local twitter accounts including that belonging to the show itself.

Could Mel-J be slumming it out in the jungle with Shane Warne?  Will Brynne Edelsten pop up in a safari hat and matching outfit?  Guess only time will tell!

In the meantime…for those wanting to know what they might expect with the show, check out some clips from the UK version below..


Hosted by Julia Morris and Chris Brown, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here begins early February, five nights a week, live from South Africa on Network Ten. We the viewers will decide “who eats, who plays and who stays.”

Coming to Network Ten in 2015; CSi Cyber, Shark Tank and More

Patricia Arquette Heads the new CSI: Cyber
Patricia Arquette Heads the new CSI: Cyber

A CSI spin-off, A television show about people watching television and celebrities stranded on an island…these are just some of the new shows Network Ten have announced to start in 2015.

CSI: Cyber: A spin-off from the massive CSI Juggernaut (the 4th spin-off to date) see’s Special Agent Avery Ryan (Patricia Arquette) head the cyber crime division alongside Senior Special Agent Elijah Mundo (James Van Der Beek)  Aruquette’s Ryan appeared in an season 14 episode of CSI that worked as a back-door pilot to this new spin-off.

I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here: It’s survivor meets Dancing with the Stars in this Aussie version of the massive UK reality hit that will see 10 well known Australian faces head to the South African jungle to compete in challenges with hopes of raising dollars for their chosen charity.  No names as yet though comedienne Julia Morris and Bondi Vet Dr. Chris Brown have been announced as hosts.

Goggle Box: In a nut shell, Goggle Box is a show about people watching television though it’s being pushed as a weekly observational series which captures the reactions of ordinary Australians as they watch the nightly news, argue over politics, cheer their favorite sporting teams and digest current affairs and documentaries.  Based on the UK show of the same name.

The Odd Couple:  Friends’ star Matthew Perry’s return to series TV in a remake of the classic comedy of the same name which sees Perry as Oscar Madison play opposite Thomas Lennon as Felix Unger. The former college buddies end up living together after the collapse of both their marriages.  Parenthood’s Lauren Graham has also just been announced to join the show as Oscars ex-wife Gaby.

Shark Tank: Remember Dragon’s Den?  That Aussie show from 2006 based off the UK show in which inventors pitched their products to a panel of wealthy investors only to find the offers involved them losing 50% of their business?  There was also a US version of the show called Shark Tank.  It’s exactly the same as the UK version….and now our version of the same name as the US version.

The Bachelorette Australia: We all know what this one is right?  It seems there’s more interest in who will be the first bachelorette than the show itself after the disaster that was this years The Bachelor.  Ten are yet to announce a name though former bachelorette’s Laurina ‘dirty street pie’ Fleure, Chantal Hryniewski and Zoe O’Brien have been thrown around while winner (and eventual loser) Sam Frost (who was considered to be the front runner) it seems is no longer in contention after her ‘post-show antics’.

Anything here take your fancy?  Being a Patty Arquette fan, I’ll give Cyber a shot plus anything with James Van Der Beek is worth a watch!

Channel 7 in 2015. New and Returning Shows Announced.

Rebecca Gibney and Peter O'Brien return for Winter in 2015
Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien return for Winter in 2015

A mix of new dramas both locally and overseas made, a reality show juggernaut spin-off and documentaries are all coming our way in 2015 as channel 7 announces it’s line-up for the new ratings season.

Sadly though, it seems with some of the imported US content, Australian viewers will be quite some episodes and by the looks of it, even over half a season behind American audiences.  No fast-tracking programs here.

So just what programs did channel 7 reveal?

How to get Away With Murder: This new US drama is easily one of the best to come out of the new US season.  Oscar winner Viola Davis stars as a high profile defense lawyer slash college law professor who finds herself caught up in a murder investigation along with some of her students.  Comes from Shonda Rhimes – she of Greys Anatomy and Scandal.

State of Affairs: Starting November 17th in the US, this Katherine Heigl vehicle has a mix of Madam Secretary and Homeland and see’s Heigl as a CIA agent working closely with the US President.

Aquarius: 1960’s based homicide drama see’s David Duchovny working with an undercover detective trying to solve a missing persons case that leads them to Charles Manson.

Winter: Spin-off series from this years “The Killing Field” telemovie with Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien back in the pursuit of a killer.

Restaurant Revolution: Another spin-off from the My Kitchen Rules juggernaut taking ‘inspiration’ from My Returant Rules, which will see contestants attempt to run their very own restaurant.

800 Words: New Aussie drama starring Packed to the Rafters favorite Erik Thomson who plays a a widowed father, who moves overseas with his two teenagers, then takes on the job of writing a weekly newspaper column.

House Rules: The home renovation show is back for 2015 and just like The Block, is offering up two seasons in the new year.

Catching Milat: Underbelly-stylized drama around the Ivan Milat murders.

What Really Happens in Thailand: First it was Bali, now it’s Thailand – or a heightened version of what actually happens.  This series is focused more on the emergency rooms, cosmetic surgeons and party hot spots.

Programs returning for 2015 include The X Factor, My Kitchen Rules, Winners & Losers, Border Security, The Force and Better Homes & Gardens while The Big Adventure, Bringing Sexy Back and The Amazing Race were not on announced as returning for the network in 2015.

What’s Really the Message in Reality TV?

The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free.  Source: Provided
The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free. Source: Provided

Does reality television have a message for it’s viewers?  Is it “Be rewarded for your hard efforts” or “true talent will see you reach the top”?  What about something less positive like “lie, cheat, bitch and moan your way through your journey”.  With the recent dramas surrounding The Bachelor, The Block Glasshouse and Big Brother, that last message seems to ring more true.

It’s funny to think that just over 20 years ago, we got our first taste of reality television in the form of the classic Sylvania Waters.  It was touted as a ‘fly-on-the-wall look into the lives of Noeline Brown and her partner Laurie Donaher, their family and their lavish lifestyle in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters.

The 12-part program was one of the first for Australian television and became one of the most talked about programs in the early 90’s.  It had its lovers and it had it’s haters, but either way, the show was an early indication of just how

Now jump forward 20-odd years where the genre that was considered taboo all those years ago has now become a staple on our screens. Everyday people (and sometimes celebrities) are starving themselves in isolate locations trying to avoid being voted off an island, they’re cooking for strangers, they’re living with strangers being filmed 24 hours a day, they’re dancing or singing or performing magic in-front of large audiences, they’re re-building and designing multi-million dollar apartments, they’re competing against strangers to win the heart of a person they don’t know…it seems there’s not much that hasn’t been covered by the genre – heck, there’s even people meeting and going on a date for the first time completely in the nude!

But it seems, especially of late, these programs that are saturating our networks are becoming more and more surrounded by scandals and outrageous antics both from those working behind the scenes and the contestants involved leaving one to wonder – just how positive is the message that reality television is trying to push?

Chris the 'EPA Inspector' on The Block Glasshouse
Chris the ‘EPA Inspector’ on The Block Glasshouse

One of the biggest on-going stories is from Network Ten’s The Bachelor, which ended two weeks ago is still getting people talking with ousted girls and the Bachelor himself (and Australia’s most despised man of the moment) Blake Garvey, offering up exclusive tell-all’s that don’t really seem to tell all…at all. Surely Network Ten must be loving the publicity for the show coming off the shock of Garvey ending his engagement to winner Sam Frost just weeks after proposing, but now, has the circus that has erupted after the finale tarnished just what the show was actually about?

For instance, season one’s bachelor Tim Robards walked away with a long-term relationship in his final pick of Anna.  It was a happy ending that also cemented the message behind the show.  Sure, most people really only tuned in to see a bunch of super spray tanned girls bitch and bicker about each other while trying to ‘win’ the heart of a man but now even that has been out-shone by Garvey and his post-show antics.

Big Brother contestants Cat and Lawson have lie-down kisses. Source: Provided

This current season of Big Brother is also skirting controversy, from housemate Gemma’s brutal evicition to last years winner, Tim Dormer re-entering the house to housemates Cat and Lawson starting a relationship all-the-while Lawson’s girlfriend Candice sits on and watches.  While Big Brother and controversy have never been to far apart from each other, this season seems to have more people questioning the antics of the housemates and those behind the scenes – who some feel, may be pushing for certain actions to occur.

Even The Block has come under scrutiny for falsifying events regarding a visit from the EPA to inspect a 12,000 litre fuel tank discovered buried under the site (which was heavily played up by the show) There was a fuel tank, it was a big mother of one, but no one from the EPA was ever actually there to inspect it.   The finale of the show also brought some murmurs of unhappy viewers when three of the five couples failed to make a decent amount of coin from their auctions – and while producers and contestants have little control over the final auction outcome, it was hardly a glowing reference for wannabe contestants on future series.

In the end, we are now at a point where we’ve come to expect schlock and drama from reality television as a way to hopefully boost fledgling ratings but is it worth it at the expense of respect and decency?  Here’s hoping shows like My Kitchen Rules’ drama and scandal stays around someone using store bought pastry for a desert dish!

X Factor Australia Finale: Who Will Win?

Finalists (L-R) Dean Ray, Brothers Three and Marlisa.  Source: Provided
Finalists (L-R) Dean Ray, Brothers Three and Marlisa. Source: Provided

Rocker Dean Ray, harmonious crooners Brothers 3 and singing school girl Marlisa are all vying for first prize when X Factor Australia reveals it’s winner tonight.

Who Should Win:  I’ve been right three years running (Reece Mastin, Samantha Jade and Dami Im) and I’m hoping to add Dean Ray to the list.  The guy is total swag on stage, clearly showing he is more adept at working the audience and giving stage presence than both Brothers 3 and Marlisa combined.

Right from the go, Ray’s audition of Kim Carnes ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ made him a standout and one to watch.  Only hitting the bottom two once (I still believe it was a ploy), Dean Ray, his mesmerizing and penetrating eyes and all, deserves to win.

Who Will Win: While still hopeful of a Dean Ray Win, Brothers 3 have remained a steadfast favorite in the series, even while being booted during judges top three announcements.  Being picked by viewers to be the return wild card and placing top spot when the viewer announcements were made are clearly showing these boys have fans.

What about Marlisa: She’s surely a surprise addition to the final three considering Regan was expected to make the final.  Marlisa can sing – no doubting that, but her stage presence lacks any oomph.  Give her a few years of doing Westfield gigs and i’m sure we’d see her pop up as a more mature and stronger performer.

Who do you think will win?  Sound off in the comments below!

X-Factor Australia finale live tonight, channel 7 at 7:30pm.

The Glasshouse Auction. The Block Finale

Will Michael and Carlene take out The Block Glasshouse?  Source: Supplied
Will Michael and Carlene take out The Block Glasshouse? Source: Supplied

Spoiler Free!  While the auctions have officially taken place, no word on final standings here until after the official airing tonight!

It’s auction time!  Nine’s reality hit The Block: Glasshouse comes to a close tonight with the couples all heading to auction, hoping to take out the $100,000 top prize.

Tonight’s finale will see each couples original reserve price plus the current reserve price with prizes won over the last two weeks for work on apartment 6 subtracted off the reserve.

Max and Karstan have won $30,000 off their reserve along with Dee and Darren.  Michael and Carlene earned $20,000 off their reserve with Simon and Shannon nabbing $10,000 off while Chris and Jenna remain the underdogs going into auction with their original reserve.

So how have the couples and apartments fared up to now?  Word has it that all apartments are expected to reach around the $1.3m to $1.5m dollar mark with Ray White agent Matt White tipping Max and Karstan’s apartment to win (Matt is Michael and Carlene’s agent)

I’m hopeful of and not expecting another surprise win like last season when Steve and Chantal walked away winners from The Block: Fans Vs Faves – meaning, sorry Chris and Jenna, you guys were entertaining but I don’t see you for the win.  I’d like to see Michael and Carlene take out top prize but then again, I’m completely in love with the bookcase enclosed lounge they delivered – and therefore slightly biased.

My final tip – It’ll be a battle between couples Dee and Darren and Max and Karstan.  Both have produced the most consistent apartments with high quality finishes.  I’m not officially picking a winner – as you know, it never pans out for me!

The Block: Glasshouse auction finale airs tonight, Channel 9 from 6:30pm.

Big Brother Australia Brings Excessive Humiliation to First Evictee

apology seg 3
Housemates Travis and Katie talk it out. Source: Provided

Wasn’t last night’s Big Brother Australia’s eviction of Gemma one of the most awkward and rage ensuring events to be ever be seen on a reality program?  The first housemate eviction for 2014 drew anger from viewers on social media after her ousting with the way it was handled compared to schoolyard bullying as Gemma found herself in a situation that is nothing short of humiliating.

After the announcement of the public vote which saw Jake and Gemma receiving the least amount of votes to stay, we were forced to endure watching the housemates, one by one and face to face, choose between the two, of whom they’d like to stay over the other.  The resulting effort was utterly painful for viewers and more so for Gemma with only Priya opting to stand behind Gemma – for which we can only assume was a strategy play on her behalf.

"The eviction process was horrible.": Gemma Kinghorn is booted out of Big Brother. Photo: Channel Nine
“The eviction process was horrible.”: Gemma Kinghorn is booted out of Big Brother. Photo: Channel Nine

While Gemma was clearly always going to be the first to be ousted (her strategy of trying to be polarizing like last years winner Tim played heavily against her), viewers stood behind the towering redhead with support after the way she was ousted.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with the way Gemma was evicted in Tuesday night’s eviction?